Mark Grisanti's News items

BUFFALO NEWS: Aquarium expansion could woo tourists into spending more time in the Falls

The Aquarium of Niagara wowed visitors when it opened nearly a half-century ago. But many believe it is, as one lawmaker put it, a gem in need of repolishing.

Aquarium officials are beginning the first steps of that process, and the state has pitched in to help. USA Niagara Development Corp. agreed last month to fund a $66,000 study that will document the deficiencies of the entire 32,000-square-foot complex - which officials say is a much-needed step.

"Just like a home or apartment, you need some upgrades," said Development Director Gay B. Molnar. "What the study will show us is what are our strengths, what are our weaknesses and what do we need to do to enhance [our offerings] here."

August 13, 2012
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TONAWANDA NEWS: Tonawanda GOP leaders call for Medicaid fraud technology

City of Tonawanda Mayor Ron Pilozzi and Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick joined with state Sen. Mark Grisanti to publicly support an anti-fraud Medicaid bill at the Edward A. Rath County Office Building on Monday. The bill aims to save millions of dollars in Medicaid funds, but has repeatedly died in the State Assembly.

The bill, co-sponsored by Grisanti, would create a Medicaid identification and anti-fraud biometric technology program that would measure human body characteristics, like fingerprints, DNA, eye retinas, voice patterns and hand movements. The technologies would be used in clinics, hospitals and pharmacies to verify a patient’s identity prior to the state paying for the services.

August 13, 2012
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BUFFALO NEWS: It’s important to move School Board elections

In 2010, only 6,256 people voted in the Buffalo School Board elections held in May. A News editorial recently endorsed changing this election from May to the November general election, which is something that I proposed in two consecutive legislative sessions. This change would increase voter turnout and save taxpayers money.

The School Board helps determine the overall quality of education by both setting the standards for teaching and creating the budgets that govern the teacher-student ratio. Perhaps of most importance, it appointed the new superintendent who will run the 30,000-student district. Buffalo needs to improve its educational system to compete in the state and the nation for good jobs and a sound, growing economy.

July 31, 2012
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WIVB-TV: Copper thefts on the rise across Western New York

Throughout western New York, Judge Richard Kloch says, “copper theft is on the rise, markedly and alarmingly.”

From idle air conditioners to to live wires, thieves are risking their lives throughout the region. They’re stealing copper to make some green. Judge Kloch says enough is enough.

“To people in front of me, if you’re going to plea to a copper theft, you’re going to jail. Plain and simple. You steal copper, you plead guilty, I’m going to have to put you in jail.”

Research shows these crimes have become crimes of opportunity. Lockport Police Chief Lawrence Eggert says any home or business may be vulnerable.

May 8, 2012
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WKBW-TV: Amanda Lynn’s Law passed by the New York State Senate

Amanda Lynn’s Law is clearing another political hurdle in Albany, where the senate has passed the legislation making it a felony to tamper with… or dispose of… human remains. On January 9, 2009, Amanda Wienckowski’s nude body was found in a garbage tote along side of a church on Spring Street in Buffalo. She had been missing for weeks. Wienckowski’s family is pushing for a new law and with the help of State Senator Mark Grisanti…the law has now passed the New York State Senate. “We know that poor Amamda did not find herself in that dumpster by herself. Somebody put her there. When somebody does that…somebody needs to be held accountable. They are tampering with evidence. They are tampering with the potential of a crime scene,” Senator Grisanti said.

May 1, 2012
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WGRZ-TV: Grisanti bill to reclassify Buffalo River as inland waterway passed by New York State Senate

Senator Mark Grisanti (R-60) today announced passage in the New York Senate of his bill S-6646 that amends the executive law to make the Buffalo River classified an inland waterway paving the way for the application of federal funds to assist with the restoration and protection of the river.

May 1, 2012
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BUFFALO NEWS: State must increase support for first responders

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, one of the most glaring problems that emerged was that emergency personnel did not have radio systems that could communicate with each other. This deficiency was responsible for hundreds of emergency responders not hearing the warning to vacate the towers. The deaths of these brave responders might have been prevented with the proper communication systems.

April 17, 2012
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Senate Completes Second Consecutive Early Passage of State Budget

For the second consecutive year, the New York State Senate has completed an early passage of the state budget. The 2012-13 state budget achieves the Senate Republicans’ goals of reducing state spending, not raising taxes and creating new private sector jobs.  The new state fiscal year begins April 1st.“The Senate has worked together with the Governor and Assembly to once again pass an early state budget that reduces overall spending, does not increase any taxes or fees, includes mandate relief measures to ease the burden on property taxpayers and makes important investments to create thousands of jobs across the state,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said.

April 2, 2012
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BUFFALO NEWS: State deal lifts deadline for aid to Roswell Park

A plan to end or sharply cut state aid in two years to Roswell Park Cancer Institute has been tentatively reshaped to give more time for the hospital to enter into moneymaking arrangements to improve its fiscal health.

The deal, expected to be part of the 2012 state budget coming together this week at the Capitol, would remove a deadline for Roswell Park to become “operationally independent” from the state by March 2014.

March 27, 2012
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BUFFALO NEWS: Concerns aired over prescription drug crisis

Doctors, pharmacists, regulators, lawmakers and parents who lost children to prescription drug addictions all agreed Monday that the state needs to take steps this year to address what is becoming a growing epidemic.

What those solutions could entail is still a ways off, as was made clear in a round-table discussion at the State Capitol hosted by Senate Republicans.

Still, several families involved in the effort left Albany confident.

“I am very encouraged by what I’m seeing here today,” testified Avi Israel, whose son Michael, addicted to prescription drugs, killed himself in his Buffalo home last year.

February 21, 2012
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NIAGARA GAZETTE: Wallenda Gets His Walk

The Niagara Parks Commission will allow tightrope walker Nik Wallenda to walk a wire across the Niagara gorge – a 180-degree turn from its established policy.

Commissioners voted Wednesday to allow the stunt during their Wednesday morning meeting.

It’s an about face for the provincial agency responsible for managing the public property along the Niagara River. It goes against a decades-old policy banning stunters from Niagara Falls.

The parks commission has decided to allow one “qualified stutner” every 20 years.

“It’s a new day,” Niagara Parks Commission chairwoman Janice Thomoson said.

The commission will give Wallenda 45 days to negotiate the arrangements for the walk.

February 21, 2012
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BUFFALO NEWS: Cuomo committing $1 billion to development in Buffalo

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today will commit the state to spending $1 billion on a multi-year economic development program designed to attract new industry specifically to the City of Buffalo.

The guarantee will be made in the governor’s second State of the State address this afternoon in a convention center near the Capitol, according to officials with knowledge of the governor’s plans.

The targeted money is in addition to the the $100 million recently awarded through a new state regional economic development council.

January 4, 2012
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BUFFALO NEWS: Petition seeks state funds for NFTA

By Richard Baldwin

More than 450 people signed a petition over the Christmas weekend to restore $10 million in state aid to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to preserve full Metro Bus service in Erie and Niagara counties.

State Sen. Mark J. Grisanti, R-Buffalo, said Tuesday he hopes to collect more than 1,000 signatures in coming weeks on his online petition.

The NFTA has announced plans to eliminate about 22 percent of its bus routes and to lay off about 20 of its 100 police officers in order to close a $14.5 million deficit in its budget for the year beginning next April 1.

December 28, 2011
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BUSINESS FIRST: Online campaign seeks emergency aid for NFTA

In an effort to stave off projected cuts in service and routes, State Sen. Mark Grisanti has started an online drive to convince Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other Albany leaders to free up $10 million in emergency aid for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

December 27, 2011
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LEGISLATIVE GAZETTE: Governor Cuomo OK’s grant to get UB 2020 ball rolling

Western New York lawmakers are hailing the recently approved UB 2020 plan as an initiative that will improve the city’s economy and quality of the university.

The grant, approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Amherst last Tuesday, is part of the SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program he signed in August. The plan awards $35 million in state funds to the University of Buffalo and begins the first phase of a larger $375 million strategic development that will relocate the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in downtown Buffalo.

December 21, 2011
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BUFFALO NEWS: WNY wins on state development

Ninety-six projects in Western New York will get state government cash or tax breaks after the region was selected Thursday, along with three other areas, in a new competitive program for economic development.

Officials picked through hundreds of funding applications and approved $100.3 million for the state's five westernmost counties for projects stretching from the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, which is getting nearly 10 percent of the money destined for the area, to a high-temperature lab at Alfred University.

December 9, 2011
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Senator Grisanti visits local home care patient during National Home Care Awareness Month

State Senator Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo) visited the home of Buffalo resident and home care recipient Randall Clay, to see, first-hand, the value of home and community-based care for residents of the 60th

November 23, 2011
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NIAGARA GAZETTE: Grisanti supports Robert Moses Parkway removal efforts

NIAGARA FALLS - Members of the city’s tourism advisory board will get some help with their concerns about the Robert Moses Parkway from the Republican state senator representing Niagara Falls.Following a meeting Monday at City Hall, state Sen.

November 9, 2011
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NIAGARA GAZETTE: Senator Grisanti questioning why local electricians not given jobs for Norampac’s new plant

By Mark Scheer

NIAGARA FALLS — A seemingly routine request for an approval from the city’s planning board turned into a discussion Wednesday about the use of local electricians on a high-profile development project in Niagara Falls.

State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Niagara Falls and Buffalo, used a presentation to the planning board by representatives from Norampac to publicly question the company’s decision to hire a Louisiana firm for electrical work tied to the construction of a new $430 million plant off Packard Road.

October 27, 2011
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